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ExcelAire: Lawsuits Regarding Gol Jet Accident Premature

ExcelAire, the operator of a bizjet involved in the tragic Gol midair, tells ANN that "Civil lawsuits filed or to be filed this week arising from that accident are premature, given that the facts surrounding the accident have not yet been fully investigated and established in a comprehensive accident investigation, according to Robert Torricella, a Miami-based aviation attorney representing the ExcelAire pilots.

"In the face of recent confirmations that air traffic control cleared and directed the ExcelAire Legacy Jet to fly to Manaus at 37,000 feet, repeated suggestions that ExcelAire's pilots were flying at the wrong altitude are baseless," said Torricella.

"According to international aviation regulations and norms, air traffic control directives take precedence over a written flight plan and those directives effectively amend the written flight plan. It is the flight plan cleared by air traffic control at the time of departure--and not the prior written flight plan--that governs the conduct of the flight."

He added, "Here, the flight plan cleared by air traffic control at the time of departure required the Legacy to fly all the way to Manaus at 37,000 feet and, absent contrary directives from air traffic control, the Legacy was obligated to follow its cleared flight plan. As the findings of the investigation are made public, we are confident that ExcelAire's pilots will be exonerated."

ExcelAire, based in Ronkonkoma, NY, specializes in business jets and aircraft management and has pledged its full cooperation in the investigations currently underway in Brazil. The ExcelAire pilots have been detained in Brazil for more than five weeks as authorities continue the confiscation of their passports in connection with investigations that the authorities have described as being paralyzed.

FMI: www.excelaire.com

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